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NFT: Work Related Problem...Where are the bbi doc, lawyers or HR

dairborn : 3/7/2018 5:59 pm
So I am a manager at a federal facility. I have one of those employees that does anything they can do avoid doing something that they feel they just shouldn't have to do. We recently have been getting shorter with staffing for a number of different reasons. As a result, we have had to dive deeper and deeper into our over time needs just to staff to what we call guideline numbers to run our department. Now in the past this individual, if they were assigned OT, they would just trade out of it with someone that wasn't selected or available to work. However, because we are so short and exhausting our lists on a daily basis, that option is not available to this individual. Basically we are at the point where everyone is working a 6 day work week at certain points.(can't work more then 6 days)

As I said above this individual has pulled stuff like this in the past but this most recent thing blows my mind. A doctor's note was brought in this week that declared due to medical circumstances, this individual is only permitted to work 40 hours a week. What a coincidence!

How can a doctor come up with a random number that says after you pass this point, it becomes hazardous to one's heath. To me, if you can't work, you can't work.

I am not in a position to do anything about this, nor do I want a lawsuit. However, I am interested to know the legal and medical backgrounds. What scientific proof could a doctor find that says at 40 hours and 1 second, your doing stuff that could cause harm to yourself? This is a sit behind a desk job and there are no physical requirements.

To me, this has only occurred because this individual had no other options here at work with their peers and is pulling the medical card as a lame excuse. They are just "one of those people." So if any of you have any knowledge, please share. Upper management says our hands are tied. I have searched for similar information, but come up short. Thanks for any information.
Several years ago,  
mrvax : 3/7/2018 6:23 pm : link
I was injured and couldn't perform my job without further risk to my injury. The doctor needed to fill out a paper telling what % of the time I could stand and what % I'd need to sit.

He made the % decision solely based on what I thought was right.
I hate to say this but  
mrvax : 3/7/2018 6:25 pm : link
you will need to find another way to rid yourself of this employee. (With documentation.)
It is not my goal to get rid of this person  
dairborn : 3/7/2018 6:33 pm : link
However when 30 something other people are all taking a bite out of the "shit sandwich" she should as well.
Let me also state this  
dairborn : 3/7/2018 6:36 pm : link
this individual as also stated in the past that they avoid OT because it has a negative effect on their taxes because it makes them pay more......let that set in for a second!
When I used to work overtime  
mrvax : 3/7/2018 6:55 pm : link
I'd make more, taxes were higher per paycheck but I got it back at the end of the year.
The Feds may be different  
WillVAB : 3/7/2018 7:26 pm : link
And I donít know the laws where youíre at, but did the employee know there was the potential for OT when they were hired? Is there anything in the employment contract/agreement that states the employee may be required to work OT?

If so, I would have a conversation with the employee about that and your expectations. If the employee isnít willing to be a team player, Iíd start the progressive discipline process and go from there.

The doctorís note is bullshit in my opinion. You can find a doctor to give a note for anything.
So you have a mailman  
RomanWH : 3/7/2018 7:42 pm : link
Who doesn't want to be forced to work overtime. Any action you take to try to make him work OT can be held liable against you should he get injured in performance of the work past 40 hours. He has medical documentation from a licensed medical professional. You have your gut instinct. Just let it go.

If you can't keep up with the work, persuade your superiors to hire more help.
Work around it my friend  
JerseyCityJoe : 3/7/2018 7:56 pm : link
because putting effort into this battle is a losing proposition. Been though it, worse.
i Wouldnít go to BBI  
Les in TO : 3/7/2018 8:50 pm : link
For medical or legal advice. Spend a half an hour talking to a recognized employment law expert in your jurisdiction
I believe nobody can be compelled  
section125 : 3/7/2018 8:55 pm : link
to work overtime and I believe Federal Law says nobody can be compelled to work over 40 hours unless they are a salaried supervisor or by contract.

Now as to the "OT makes my taxes go up argument", there are those who believe this and forget that they are also making more money. I've heard it for years.
Well this is the FAA  
dairborn : 3/7/2018 9:13 pm : link
Air Traffic Controllers...and yes by contract we can be required to work OT and yes we know this when we are hired. Planes got to fly from A to B and no we are not Postal workers.

I don't intend on doing anything about this because (A) its above my pay grade and (B) this person is a nut who I just would assume avoid. I just wanted to reach out to safer waters other then Facebook where people would know exactly who I was talking about. I just wanted to see if anyone else has some real world experience.

What's to say I get a doctors note that says I don't have to work past 6PM because its detrimental to my're telling me thats fine because its from my doctor and if I am forced to work past what the doc says then they become liable? whats to prevent the entire workforce from pulling this point again is that yes.... this sucks having to work 6 days a week, but this individual knew that and only now when her back is up against a wall with no options to get out does he/she pull this stunt.
It might just be me  
Bill L : 3/7/2018 9:19 pm : link
But Iím not sure making a person in charge of planes and lives work under duress or with some kind of mental funk is a terrific idea.

Ow Iím worried if, in general, we have nutjobs controlling whether we live or die.
And again  
dairborn : 3/7/2018 9:22 pm : link
Where is the scientific proof that 40 hours is max? How could that be proven? In my professional opinion there is no way you could. You either can work or you can't. We can also be medically restricted if we don't meet what's required to be in full duty status. Perhaps that maybe the final outcome, but it just bothers me on a personal level how when all the arrows point to something, people just look the other way.
Bill L  
dairborn : 3/7/2018 9:29 pm : link
We are good at that aspect of the job, however its the crap they try to pull that doesn't go out on frequency that makes ATC so stressful. Separating planes is the easy part. Dealing with adults that act like children and think rules don't apply and then are back by a union who blames everything on management is the problem.
...30+ year HR vet here (spare the jokes)  
jerseyboyLAX : 3/7/2018 9:32 pm : link
could you schedule this person 40 hours over 6 days? 4, 6-hour shifts (24) and 2, 8-hour shifts (16)....don't know the specs of contract or if that wouldn't work with your labor model, just a thought....beyond that, when it comes to this type of 'excuse', although you surely see right through it you will have to grin and bear....
dairborn : 3/7/2018 9:49 pm : link
every year we have to work out what we call a basic watch schedule...this year it has to be 40 hours a week with five/eight hour shifts and two regular back to back days off. Employees can opt to do a combo of 9 and 7 hour shifts if staffing permits but those are the only two options.

We have to build a schedule to agreed numbers for 3 shifts per day...We call and mids....with number requirements at 10, 10 and 3. We set that based on the number of people available and if we are short, we assign OT to those eligible on one of there 2 days off.

You can be on a NO/OT list, but if we run out of the "yes" people we go to the "no" people if needed. At this point we are so short that we have run out of people and some shifts are starting at 9 when we post a schedule....This person used to be able to trade the shift away, but that option is gone because we are using everyone. If they work beyond 40 hours it has to be paid time and a half and we are contracted to have them work 8 hours of OT if we assign it.
Because they can  
Painless62 : 3/7/2018 10:02 pm : link
As a doctor I am often asked to put work restrictions on patients . Most of the time they are random bs such as canít lift more than 10 pounds. Then you see them slinging bags of mulch. It is the current system
Dragon : 3/7/2018 10:04 pm : link
In most cases employees are being offered less time at work site and more at home work designations. This seems in most cases to be the plan for the future with todayís tech almost anything can be done on the go or at home. Now your situation requires upper management assistance and guidance or you could end up like JR and BM. Medical paperworkís no matter how much we suspect them are an employee win situation because the courts think so. You canít fight city hall would seem to be the operative behavior since the employee has maintained a desire to not do overtime now they have provided a medical document to support that prior action.
If everybody else is working 6 days a week and she refuses  
Marty in Albany : 3/7/2018 11:24 pm : link
perhaps you should suggest that she run for Union president (or delegate) and maybe she can help get more staff for you.
dairborn : 3/7/2018 11:29 pm : link
She was the area rep 2 years ago but was removed because she exceeded her boundies one too many times and the uppers within the union pulled her.......she was only elected because membership wanted to watch the firework show and entertainment it would bring to work everyday... trust me they got plenty.
You canít force the guy  
Giant John : 3/8/2018 5:53 am : link
To work additional hours. Put the blame where it belongs and thatís on your employer who doesnít seem to want to replace employees.
Maybe I should start a thread about how my  
DonQuixote : 3/8/2018 7:15 am : link
slave driving boss wants me to work 50 hours per week when I have a legitimate medical reason, and my own personal/professional preferences to work only 40. I might be worried that this boss is looking for a way to fire me even though I am within my rights. Hopefully my boss is not disparaging me, or looking for a way to get rid of me, on an internet message board.
Here's an idea  
Jeever : 3/8/2018 10:13 am : link
Schedule this employee to work weekends within his 40 hr week. Doesn't solve the problem but does help cover the load for a normal overtime schedule and Effs up his weekends.
RE: Well this is the FAA  
section125 : 3/8/2018 10:30 am : link
In comment 13854268 dairborn said:
Air Traffic Controllers...and yes by contract we can be required to work OT and yes we know this when we are hired. Planes got to fly from A to B and no we are not Postal workers.

You should be able to do something within the contract for her to meet her requirements. If she was already removed from being a union rep by the union, then they might be able to help you move this person along. Unions really don't want members crapping on other members, but of course they want FAA to hire another body or two to cover the shifts.
Can you give her mostly the mid shifts so to give the rest working OT better rest?

But if this is above your paygrade, then besides annoying you, how is this your problem?
This is not something you can deal with yourself  
MetsAreBack : 3/8/2018 10:53 am : link
escalate the issue, work with corporate HR, and let your superiors know that if a solution isn't found on this, *they* will need to hire an additional person to cover for you.

There is zero reason why everyone else in the department should suffer for the actions of one. Why cant your company relocate him to another job function if he can't perform the duties now required in your group?
Not my area of the law, but from my experience  
jpkmets : 3/8/2018 11:03 am : link
1. I don't think it's necessarily true that you either "Can work or you can't" -- I was hit by a van in 2007. I landed on my head and had a severe concussion. I was out of work for several weeks entirely (had some other injuries). But when I went back, even though I have a desk job, my neurologist spoke with my HR and said that I would need to work part-time (I think we did 4 six hour days a week) to start with as symptoms would resurface on a full-time schedule, even though I was a desk jockey as a litigator. He was correct in this instance. I was ok through the mornings at work and then terrible headaches and exhaustion would set in. For a month or so, I was unable to work the standard 55-60 hours a week, but was able to do some work.

2. It sounds quite possible, however, that this person is avoiding the OT rather than addressing an acute medical issue. I agree with posters who have said to escalate this to a higher management level. You could certainly say that the person's ongoing health issues make you concerned that he she cannot fulfil the basic requirements of her job. Seems to me if OT is in the contract, that being physically capable of working those hours, if need arises, is a sign that the person is unable of meeting the job requirements.
LOL 40 hours a week  
Joey from GlenCove : 3/8/2018 11:19 am : link
Most ppl LOVE OT
dairborn : 3/8/2018 11:22 am : link
There are provisions in the contract to go part time under certain circumstances.....but this is strictly an OT issue. I like the number 2 approach and if I was the flight surgeon, this would be my concern. If you can't work at 41 hours how can u work at all? It's my issue because people get word about what's going on and want to know why in their opinion she is getting special treatment... and as a previous union member I'd be pissed too because we all know
It's not medical... it's just she doesn't want to....this isn't the first time circumstances like this with her have come up...she has a pattern and just just believes she gets her own set of rules.
My concern, again, is that you are taking this too personally  
MetsAreBack : 3/8/2018 11:26 am : link

Escalate the issue, remember this is not YOUR money, and let the experts handle the situation.
It is been sent up the chain  
dairborn : 3/8/2018 11:43 am : link
My job as a manager is to see that people are treated fairly and when I see 30 people putting in the time and picking up the slack vs someone who is constantly pulling this garbage... I make sure I do whatever I can so to those 30, I have done all I can vs just throwing my hands up. Remember as her first line sup...we see her everyday vs the higher up that's just see her in passing and paperwork. My employees and my peers are dead on with the facts because we know her best. It going to be what it is and I accept that.... but in my experience gaining real world knowledge from others is worth its weight in gold. That's y I made the post.... to see what others away from here have gone through.
Oh - I agree, good post  
MetsAreBack : 3/8/2018 11:53 am : link
and good discussion. Didnt mean to convey otherwise. I'm just saying based on your posts, seems like you might be a little emotional about this - dont get yourself in trouble legally or with your own HR.
Oh trust me  
dairborn : 3/8/2018 11:59 am : link
I know to be careful with this one but thanks and your advice is well received!
People suck, people are corrupt  
Bill L : 3/8/2018 12:01 pm : link
and the system is set up to facilitate and protect their sucky corruption.

That's the real world; live in it.
A few things off the top of my head  
Cam in MO : 3/8/2018 2:29 pm : link
#1- You have every right to make him visit your (company doctor) at your expense for a 2nd opinion.

#2- I don't think you're under any legal requirement to fulfill what "a doctor's note says" unless he's requesting FMLA leave. Make him go to his doctor and have FMLA paperwork filled out.

#3- Once and if FMLA paperwork is approved, follow the law and make him see his doctor every month (which is in your right)

#4- Don't lay down and make this easy for the guy. This kind of stuff (if he is trying to "game the system") has a way of spreading throughout an organization if other's see how easy it is.

#5- Before doing any of the above, check with HR or an employment attorney as I am neither and only have experience with this type of stuff as an operations manager.

Just to add a little ambiance  
idiotsavant : 3/8/2018 2:46 pm : link
To the thread.

Without saying directly which agency your at, Dairborn, any way you could share the stated goal broadly of the agency, as you say 'facility' you are at... I mean overall... and that of your unit within the org?
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